- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 22, 2006

The new leader of the Episcopal Church in America, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, says she does not believe homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals were created by God to love people of the same sex.

As the Episcopal leadership continues to huff and puff to catch up with the world, it would help if it could tell its members what it regards as sinful behavior, or will the very concept of sin soon be up for negotiation to avoid giving offense to anyone?

Truly what Paul, the Apostle, warned would happen in the “end times” is coming true in our day: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine, instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV).

Meeting at the Episcopal General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, the denomination passed a resolution expressing “regret” for consecrating a homosexual bishop three years ago, but it declined to repent of its action. On Tuesday, the convention voted to continue consecrating homosexual bishops and permit same-sex unions. But 24 hours later, attendees reversed themselves again and adopted a resolution to avoid consecrating additional gay bishops. Apparently, they are so wishy-washy they are even wishy-washy about their wishy-washiness.

Bishop Schori, a former oceanographer for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle, says, “The Bible tells us about how to treat other human beings and that’s certainly the great message of Jesus — to include the unincluded.” This is so outside orthodox Christianity that only biblical illiterates or those who deny the supreme authority of the only Book that gives foundation to the faith will accept it.

Anglicanism has suffered from probably irreversible corruption since the days of the late C.S. Lewis and John Stott, who is still with us. These men combined intellectual heft with orthodox belief and had little regard for trends, fads or cultural diversions. They have been replaced by theological dim bulbs less concerned about proclaiming truth and conversion than in not offending anyone.

Maybe the question for Bishop Schori and her fellow heretics should be: If homosexual practice is not sin, what is? And how do we know? Or is it a matter of “thus saith the opinion polls” and lobbying groups, rather than “thus saith the Lord”?

With the bishop’s “doctrine” of inclusion, why exclude anyone? How about applying the religious equivalent of “open borders” and let everyone into the church, including unrepentant prostitutes, murderers, liars, thieves and atheists? If the Episcopal Church denies what is clearly taught in Scripture about important matters like sexual behavior, why expect its leaders to have any convictions about anything, including directions to Heaven? How can anyone be sure, if the Guidebook is so full of errors?

The leader of Anglicanism, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has promoted this doctrinal wishy-washiness. Archbishop Williams, who has acknowledged ordaining a homosexual priest, says he opposes cohabitation by heterosexuals because it is harmful to family stability. But the same Book that speaks against what once called “fornication” before such words died along with the accompanying doctrines, also speaks against the “sin” of homosexual practice. So how can anyone be sure one is true and the other not true, or the reverse, or neither, or both? And who is to say if the church leaders don’t know or are afraid to say because they might be criticized as “exclusive.”

The Episcopal Church isn’t the only denomination having trouble deciding what it believes. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted to “receive” a policy paper on sex-inclusive language for the Trinity. Instead of the traditional (and biblical) Father, Son and Holy Spirit, these liberal Presbyterians will consider using “Mother, Child and Womb,” or “Rock, Redeemer, Friend,” among others. Never mind what God calls Himself. These people want a name change without asking permission.

No wonder liberal denominations lose members while the conservative ones grow. The liberal ones don’t seem to care. Seeking only to be “relevant” they face condemnation from the One they are supposed to represent, whose attitude about such things is anything but “inclusive.”

Conservative Episcopalians are too few to stop the theological drift. If they intend to preserve their congregations without further theological seepage, they should “come out from among them and be separate.”

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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